What are fully connected services and why are they valuable?
A fully connected service prioritises customer experience by consistently and seamlessly integrating technology and data to connect digital touchpoints, frontline and operational teams, and physical spaces. This results in a delightful and effortless interaction for the customer, no matter the time, place, method, or reason for their interaction.
More than just multi-channel or omnichannel services, they include:
- Digital products
A connected service utilises customer and other relevant data, along with automation, to design digital products that deliver intuitive and straightforward interactions with the service. These revolutionary products elevate customers’ experiences in branded settings by integrating seamlessly into their environment – think ‘in store’ mode within a retailer’s mobile app, and the introduction of gamified elements within leisure and hospitality venues.
- Customer service people
Armed with technology, customer service representatives have the ability to leverage customer and other data, as well as automation, to provide the most straightforward, engaging, and empathetic interactions with customers. Through tailored roles, procedures, and behaviours that align perfectly with the brand’s values, customer service colleagues can embody the brand’s value proposition while delivering exceptional customer experiences.
- Places and spaces
By combining physical and sensory elements with digital experiences, brands can craft an immersive environment tailored to their customers’ needs. Specialised customer service initiatives add a personal touch with theatrical flourishes that can help bring the space to life and leave lasting impressions.
Customers today expect seamless service from every touchpoint, across products and over time. To create this connected customer experience, service organisations need to ensure every aspect of their offer is seamlessly connected – from products, people and places to their associated promises, processes and policies.
A fully connected service and experience go beyond simply combining touchpoints – it requires a seamless integration of technology and the flow of data in the background.
These services are designed to facilitate consistently connected customer journeys by:
- Allowing customers to seamlessly transition between channels, knowing they can resume their journey where they left off.
- Recognising customers across interactions and remembering their profile, preferences, and interaction history with the service.
- Delivering a strong customer value proposition at every touchpoint in every channel, no matter where they are or who they’re interacting with.
- Enabling customers to complete their tasks and goals, or quickly finding a solution to do so, during their interaction with the business.
- Leveraging partnerships and other services for the benefit of customers, improving the overall experience.
- Reflecting the brand’s values and personality in each interaction and micro-interaction throughout the customer’s journey.
- Providing the best possible experience even when things go wrong, utilising the full range of services to resolve issues.
So…why are fully connected services valuable?
A fully connected service is like having a supercharged engine for your business. Not only can it help increase revenue and generate new revenue streams, but also retain customers thanks to streamlined transactions across channels. What’s more? Development costs are reduced through improved coordination, plus you get comprehensive and consistent data so that smarter decisions can be made across your business – helping you to innovate your services and experiences.
Let’s take a closer look at the commercial benefits of achieving and operating a fully connected service…
- Enhanced Revenue Generation
Customers expect the ability to purchase products immediately. If an item is not available in-store, they should be able to order it for delivery or pick-up with ease. Similarly, in service industries, customers expect to be able to book appointments and start receiving value from the service immediately; if not readily available, they may seek out competitors.
- Cost Savings in Development
The more consistent touchpoints are, the easier it becomes to develop and maintain the underlying technology infrastructure, resulting in less for employees and customers to learn or relearn.
- Improved Customer Retention
If a customer books an appointment, they shouldn’t encounter any surprises when they arrive, and they don’t expect to have to log in at multiple points within the same business. This leads to frustration and may cause them to seek out competitors.
- Improved Data for Informed Improvements
By measuring performance at the touchpoint or interaction level, businesses can gain a better understanding of customer experiences and assess how well their needs are being fulfilled. A fully connected service makes it easier to adopt a holistic measurement approach, leading to more meaningful improvements.
- Streamlined Coordination and Investment
Designing, operating, and measuring a fully connected service makes it easier to identify issues and opportunities that span both customer experience and internal business functions. This allows for the coordination of resources around broader initiatives, reducing duplication, and pooling resources to invest in platform development and transformative work.
At Engine, our priority is to highlight the financial benefits of improved service design for our clients. We specialise in creating fully connected services that not only enhance the customer experience but also drive revenue growth and cost savings.
If you are interested in learning more, we would be delighted to have a conversation with you.
Simply schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable service design specialists to get started.
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